::sigh:: Silly Americans and their silly concerns... =)
(Following is just a more or less clever observation with nothing general; I'm not saying yea or nay to the original message's question...)
Waitwaitwaitwait. I've seen all this happening before.
Suppose there's group of Zbleeks who Zbleek happily under the same sky. Then, it seems that the number of Zbleeks who are also interested about BlaX is increasing. The Zbleeks who also do BlaX say what they're doing isn't exactly harmful (might be, more or less, in some sense), but do admit that non-Zbleeks will certainly consider BlaXing kind of eccentric.
Then, non-BlaX Zbleeks form a group that oppose BlaX, some of them form a group that are pro-BlaX, and then, we have a merry fight going on among the non-BlaX Zbleeks...
...and the non-Zbleeks look over, say "what the Hell they're fighting for?"
Trust me. I've seen many times, many many times in various situation this happening, or something similiar.
All we need is a splinter group of people, who do something that someone somewhere might someday frown upon, and someone with right mind in the larger group will get very, very, very concerned about that and try to a) sweep it under the carpet (suffice to say that Lying Isn't Best PR) or b) form a group that try to change the (usually nonexistent) people's image that all of the group are like that splinter group.
In our case, people probably haven't even heard of "geeks with guns"; imagine the revelation when people are told that. "(chuckle) Oh, I see the Revenge Of The Nerds approaching..." or maybe "Duh, big deal". Who knows. People will have an opinion. It may not be favorable, but who cares.
The result, in latter situation, is that the splinter group will get more attention - exactly the opposite effect. "Hello. I'm a Zbleek, and I oppose BlaXing. What, you haven't heard of us Zbleeks? Oh, never mind, I'll tell you - but repeat after me, we're not into BlaXing, we're not into BlaXing..." See?
Or, the third choice is c), try to say "yes, they do that, but most of us don't." It would often work; however, most people don't see that as an option.
If you've followed my Usenet misadventures, you probably know what I'm really talking about. If you don't, don't try to find out or you'll laugh at the people's general lunacy. =)
Personally, I couldn't care less about the gun control issue - I'm not even living that way, I'm in Finland where we don't have a "gun problem" I don't see any connection with ESR's gun hobby and geekery in general; I doubt many people do, either. I don't see the point of forming a faction that just draws more attention to the problem - if it even is a problem...
-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...